Abhilash Tomy Scripts History, Finishes Second In The Golden Globe Race After Sailing Solo for 236 Days

Abhilash Tomy Scripts History, Finishes Second In The Golden Globe Race After Sailing Solo for 236 Days

by Swarajya Staff - Thursday, April 13, 2023 07:20 PM IST
Abhilash Tomy Scripts History, Finishes Second In The Golden Globe Race After Sailing Solo for 236 DaysCommander Abhilash Tomy (file photo)

29 April: Former Indian Navy Commander Abhilash Tomy made history by finishing the Golden Globe Race earlier today. He took 236 days, 14 hours, 46 minutes for Tomy to complete the race.

28 April: Kirsten Neuschäfer from South Africa emerged as the winner of the Golden Globe Race (GGR) 2022 edition, making her the second woman ever to win the GGR. She completed the solo, non-stop voyage around the world, which covers nearly 30,000 nautical miles, in 263 days.

Kirsten's boat, Minnehaha, docked at Les Sables d'Olonne in France on April 28th, 2023, ending the grueling race that demands sailors to navigate using only celestial navigation, the sextant, and the barometer. The GGR is considered the ultimate challenge for purists seeking to complete a solo, non-stop circumnavigation of the world.

Abhilash Tomy is only 150 nautical miles away from the finish line and is expected to dock by 5 am on April 29th, 2023.

27 April: Former Indian Navy's commander Abhilash Tomy is expected to finish the ongoing Golden Globe Race in second place. He is just 160 nautical miles away from the finish line at Les Sables-d'Olonne in France and is expected to finish early saturday morning. Meanwhile, the South African Kirsten Neuschafer is set to finish the race in first place.

24 April: Former Indian Navy commander Abhilash Tomy seems to have lost his lead in the ongoing Golden Globe Race. Fierce winds left his boat damaged a few days ago, and he had to navigate "the low-pressure to his north with short seas on a wounded boat". However, Commander Tomy has shown incredible resilience in the face of adversity. Despite the setback, he has managed to repair the rip in his main sail and is now within striking distance of the sailor in lead, Simon Curwen of the United Kingdom. He was less than 200 miles behind Curwen on 23 April.

"A 200-mile gap after 29,500 miles is a mere 0.7%," the daily dispatch from Sébastien Delasnerie, the Race Director, noted.

The race is far from over, and anything can happen in the days ahead.

20 April: Abhilash Tomy is on the verge of making history in the Golden Globe Race as he took the lead from South African Kirsten Neuschafer and is ahead of him by 29 miles. Commander Tomy has taken a totally different route, which allowed him to take advantage of stronger winds and jump into the first position.

Commander Tomy is just two weeks away, or less than 1,400 nautical miles from the finish line at Sables-d'Olonne in France.

13 April: Abhilash Tomy is making impressive progress in the Golden Globe Race aboard his 36-foot sailboat, the Bayanat. He faced a near-fatal accident during his previous attempt in 2018, which adds to the significance of his current performance.

As of now, only five sailors are left in the race.

About The Golden Globe Race

The Golden Globe Race is a solo, non-stop, unassisted sailing race around the world that takes place every four years.

The race is named after the Golden Globe trophy that was awarded to the winner of the first race in 1968. The race involves sailing 30,000 nautical miles around the world, crossing the equator twice, and rounding the Cape of Good Hope, Cape Leeuwin, and Cape Horn.

Competitors in the race must navigate using only paper charts and a sextant to determine their position, just as sailors did before modern navigation technology was developed.

The race is widely regarded as the toughest maritime race in the world and is known for its extreme physical and mental challenges.

This Is Abhilash's Second Attempt At The Golden Globe Race

Commander Tomy, a Kirti Chakra and Nausena Medal recipient, participated in the Golden Globe Race in 2018, which is a grueling solo sailing race around the world, without any modern technology or navigational aids. Tomy was one of the few sailors to attempt the race, and he was sailing in his boat named Thuriya.

On September 21, 2018, while he was sailing in the Southern Ocean, about 1,900 nautical miles off the coast of Perth, Australia, a severe storm struck the area, with winds gusting up to 130 km/hr and waves reaching up to 10 meters. During the storm, the mast of his boat broke, leaving Tomy stranded and injured in the middle of the ocean. His yacht was also damaged, and he had limited supplies of food and water.

He was running third in the race at the time.

Despite his injuries and the difficult circumstances, Tomy was able to activate his emergency beacon and send out a distress signal. The signal was picked up by the Indian Navy, which launched a massive search and rescue operation. The Australian, French, and Indian Navy vessels present in the region participated in the search effort.

As time was running out and the emergency satellite transmitters were losing communication, the Indian Navy was considering a daring rescue operation. The plan involved deploying four Naval commandos by parachute from an Indian Air Force transport aircraft to reach Abhilash and provide medical assistance to stabilise his condition.

However, after several days of searching, a French fisheries patrol vessel named Osiris located Tomy's boat and rescued him. He was found lying in his bunk, severely dehydrated and with a back injury.

The rescue team gave him medical attention and transported him to a hospital in Île Amsterdam, a remote French island in the southern Indian Ocean, where he received further treatment.

His yacht, Thuriya, was left adrift in the ocean, and it was eventually recovered by a French naval vessel.

He was awarded the Nao Sena Medal in 2019 by the Ministry of Defence.

In 2013, Tomy had became the first Indian to complete a solo, non-stop circumnavigation of the world under sail.

Five years after the 2018 accident — titanium rods were inserted into his spine, Commander Tomy is back in the Golden Globe race.

Watch How Abhilash Tomy Was Rescued At Sea

A French fisheries vessel rescued Commander Tomy in the southern Indian Ocean. He received care at a health facility in the Amsterdam Isle and was brought back to India by Indian Navy frigate INS Satpura.

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